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Dharma Therapy is based on 2,500 years of wisdom, knowledge and teachings from a man who became known as the Buddha. The Buddha was a man who was interested in the problem of suffering. He found that there is no way around suffering but that there is a way to overcome it. Suffering is not a problem but a part of life, and more importantly, there is nothing shameful about it.
Dharma Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that draws on many different techniques and modalities. Mindfulness, compassion, acceptance, as well as elements that are found in Person Centred, humanistic, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) all form the foundation.
Psychotherapy is greek for healing the mind or attending to the soul. The Dharma refers to many things, including love, truth, reality and teachings from the Buddha. To embark on this type of therapy is a journey of discovery and learning how our suffering can be a source of great compassion. We may not be able to prevent suffering but we can learn how to transform it for the benefit of all.
In Buddhism, the first noble truth is that 'Life is suffering.' It includes losing a loved one, ageing, illness, and birth, as well as not getting what you had your heart set on and getting what you never wanted.
With suffering arises many feelings, and this too, is a noble truth. Feelings that arise when encountering affliction are not shameful. They may be painful and generate powerful emotions, but they do not last the same forever. However, for most of us, we tend to feel overwhelmed by our feelings and find it easier to cope by distracting ourselves.
It's only when our coping mechanisms start to cause problems that we feel pushed into doing something.
If we feel that we are being backed into a corner, we might then feel that we need help to address the fact that we are suffering and moreover, not coping. This can be a dark time and sometimes the last thing we feel towards ourselves is compassion, this is why and how therapy can help. It is at these dark times in our lives that we need compassion.
Taking the first step to reach out for help can be daunting, however, being open to the possibility of a journey of healing and growth can be the beginning of a process of change and transformation.
Susthama Kim is the founder of Dharma Therapy. She follows a holistic approach with mindfulness, compassion and acceptance at its core. She is trained in Buddhist psychology and here to assist you in exploring your thoughts, feelings and challenges in your life.
She is the Head of the Order of Amida Buddha which is a western Pure Land Buddhist group (www.amidashu.org), psychotherapist, and supervisor from a Buddhist background. She specialises in spiritual and mental health and provides both short and long-term therapy to adults, young and old, no matter where you live as she is currently working on-line as well as face to face.
Her areas of experience include:
Bereavement and loss
other general mental health issues
She offers a compassionate and warm approach to reflect on the difficulties or problems you are experiencing in a safe and confidential environment. Counselling isn’t about giving you solutions or advice, but deeply appreciating your experiences in life and to give you a chance to see things from different perspectives.
She works with people from all walks of life and backgrounds, coming with a diverse range of problems. As a fully-qualified counsellor she is a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, and abides by their code of ethics.
Every journey involves some research into the territory that they are going into. There might be many different reasons for going into therapy, however, no matter who you are and what your background is, sometimes, it is important to start asking questions about the things that are going on in our internal landscape.
Dharma therapy is about peeling away the layers, like an onion in the ground, there is an inner core that is rooted and connected in something deep, something big and something other that can give us strength and confidence that we are on the right path.
I often hear people say, 'I'm just not good enough.' or, I'll do it later when I have space, or time, or money, or love, or something else. We are motivated by our own lack and that keeps us going, keeps pushing us to be better, do more, and feel great.
Dharma therapy starts with an understanding that suffering is a part of life, whether it be existential or feeling dissatisfied. Instead of running away from the suffering, this form of therapy is about stopping and accepting this reality that we are not ok but that is ok.
Once we've examined our lives and have experienced a sense of confidence that this journey will be what it is; sometimes bumpy, sometimes smooth, sometimes going up and sometimes going down.
Accepting the journey for what it is and that feelings will spring up depending on how bumpy and bendy the path, we can then learn how to manage the feelings. Feelings are also noble and they are there for a reason, but they are impermanent and sometimes unreliable, so Dharma therapy teaches how to accept the feelings while stopping certain behaviours that were or are driven by our feelings. In time, we will learn how to create the conditions that can transform your life.
People come to me for help a wide range of issues. Here are a few of the more common difficulties that can be supported through counselling:
Problems with confidence or self-esteem
Fear and Anxiety
Grief, loss or bereavement
Work or retirement
Family or school life
I offer online sessions for clients around the world via Zoom, Skype or Teams. Contact me to find out more about how online therapy works.
I am also seeing clients in person in Watford, Hertfordshire.
Counselling sessions for individuals last 50 minutes, usually taking place on a weekly basis.
I offer a free consultation which lasts up to 30 minutes so that we can get to know each other.
Fees range from £55 - £70 per session.
Note that if you want to cancel an appointment I require 24 hours notice; otherwise you will still need to pay for any sessions missed. I accept payment in cash, paypal, or debit card, and by bank transfer.
I am also accredited with Health Assured, Cigna Health insurance. If you would like to pay using your health insurance please check with them beforehand.